widening circles

water circles“I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.”

Excerpt from Das Stunden-Buch (The Book of Hours) by poet Rainer Maria Rilke and read on NPR today by the philosopher of ecology and translator Joanna Macy.

Reflecting on this poem in her early 20’s, Ms. Macy said it “rearranged the furniture of my mind… I identified completely with it and I saw… that it could redefine that I was on a spiritual path.”

“Wow,” say I.

Later in her interview on NPR, she reflects on challenges and opportunities in life saying, “…you’re always asked to sort of stretch a little bit more, but actually we’re made for that. There’s a song that wants to sing itself through us. We just got to be available. Maybe the song that is to be sung through us is the most beautiful requiem for an irreplaceable planet or maybe it’s a song of joyous rebirth as we create a new culture that doesn’t destroy its world.”

As I begin work with nature education and focusing my talents in support of conservation, life’s peripheral view is expanding. With soft eyes I see the circles radiating out from where I have come, where I still have yet to stretch. 

It is in these moments of stretching, rippling out, that infuse me with reverent anticipation.

I encourage you to listen or read Joanna Macy’s interview on NPR by Krista Tippett.

2 Comments

  1. This was an inspiration! As I walk through the autumn leaves, it’s WILD to imagine the ripples each footstep creates. It’s as if I’m the star of a sci-fy metaphysical movie. Perhaps I am….

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